Three years ago last week I began this blog from an earthquake toppled , cholera-sickened corner of the Caribbean.
I find it hard to believe all that’s happened in those 36 months: our leaving Haiti, returning to the US, selling our home, getting married, and moving to Ecuador. That’s to say nothing of the writing I’ve done, the pieces I’ve published on The Huffington Post, or the progress I’ve made on my mafia memoir meets evangelical exposé.
Then there’s the friends I’ve made via this blog, the number of you I’ve actually met (Miranda, Lisa, Colleen, Emily), the wedding of a blog buddy Sara and I attended, and two of my New York City blogger friends having been witnesses when Sara and I got married in April (Virginia and Jackie).
So in honor of this blogoversary, I’m sharing one of the first stories I told from Port-au-Prince. Appropriately (or not so appropriately, as the case may be) it’s not about Haiti at all, but about my mother–about her wicked sense of humor or immense creativity in the face of failing memory (you decide which). I say, “appropriately,” since it’s my mom’s 75th birthday today. (Mind you, my mother prefers I not write about her, so we won’t make too big a deal about the birthday.)
I promise to share, in the coming weeks, some pieces I wrote about Haiti, but in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy the following tale about my mother and me. Happy birthday, Mom!
Here’s how it all went down.
On her 72nd birthday, my mother shared her newest mnemonic device with me. And I thought, in all fairness, I should pass along the technique, in case you want to remedy your own memory deficits by adopting my mother’s method.
This all came up when I asked my mom to phone my partner Sara and me in Haiti during our family’s annual let’s-celebrate-mom’s-birthday-event. (It’s less expensive to initiate the call from the US.)
When I asked her to call, my mom said, “Well, I’m afraid I’ll forget.”
I reassured her that she didn’t have to worry, that I would email my sister and ask her to place the call.
“No,” my mother declared confidently. “I’ll just clip a clothes pin to my lapel.”
“Really,” I replied.
“Of course,” she claimed. “Someone is bound to ask why I have a clothes pin on my blouse. And when they do, I’ll remember we were supposed to call you. It works every time.”
“Every time?” I asked, dumbfounded that my mother had used the technique enough to have gathered this kind of data.
“Wow,” I added.
“It works really well—-and everybody has an extra clothes pin hanging around!”
“Sure they do . . . “
. . . but—-for those of you whose laundry habits have, surprisingly, not carried the clothes pin over into the 21st century or, God forbid, lack the sartorial daring to add clothespins to your accessory repertoire, my mother claims the piece-of-paper-in-the-middle-of-the-living-room-floor technique works almost as well.
So, here’s to blogging and birthdays–one clothes pin at a time.
How’s your memory these days?
Note about Blogroll: Sadly, I have not updated my blogroll in nearly two years. I know, it’s embarrassing. If you are not currently listed and are a current reader-commenter, please leave a link in the comments below. That way I can easily add you. Thank you, and I’m so sorry to not have updated more recently! It’s a crime against the Blog Gods!